National Topics

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

| Apr 26, 2014

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

by Philip Brasor

In a 1989 essay, “Coming Down Again: After the Age of Excess,” from a newly edited collection of her writings, the late American critic Ellen Willis discussed a dilemma the women’s movement faced in the ’70s. With the advent of the ’60s counterculture came ...

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

| Apr 19, 2014

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

by Philip Brasor

Several weeks ago Fuji TV’s morning news show sent a reporter to the Gunma Prefecture “antenna shop” located across the street from the Kabukiza theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The store, which sells products made in Gunma, pays ¥64 million a year in rent ...

The buck stops here: ‘Hunting girls’ on the rise

| Apr 15, 2014

The buck stops here: ‘Hunting girls’ on the rise

Here’s a new buzzword for you: kari-gaaru (hunting girls). They’ve descended from past trendsetting mori-gaaru (“forest girls,” interested in carefree lifestyles and spending time in nature) and yama-gaaru (“mountain girls,” who enjoy fashionable hikes). So now Japan has kari-gaaru who, instead of playing games ...

Taking a walk down felony lane

| Apr 5, 2014

Taking a walk down felony lane

by Mark Schreiber

As part of the commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Metropolitan Police Department, monthly magazine Bungei Shunju polled some 50,000 active-duty policemen on the 100 most significant crimes, incidents and disasters since 1874. The magazine received approximately 45,000 responses, and published the results ...

Fashion takes a baby step in right direction

| Mar 29, 2014

Fashion takes a baby step in right direction

by Philip Brasor

The fashion industry has been criticized for promoting impossible body images by pressuring models, directly or indirectly, to remain as skinny as possible. Nevertheless, so-called plus-size models have become well-represented in the industry over the past 30 years. In the beginning, it was a ...